Mother Ann Lee, founder of The United Society of Believers more commonly known as the Shakers, proclaimed “…put your hands to work and your hearts to God.” Each motion, action, task—hand spinning, dyeing, weaving, sewing, knitting, crocheting, mending & darning, washing & ironing—was done with that meditation in mind.
The Record and Journal of the Sisters, written in the First Order at Watervliet, NY in 1838 notes the quantity of both the raw materials and associated textiles produced in one year:
A run is approximately 1600 yards, so 510 runs equals 816,000 yards. How many times would one have to walk up and down the Albany Airport runway (2, 834 yards) to equal 816,000 yards? 288 times.
For the Shaker, each step and task brought a higher wisdom.
“Shaker quotes document” by Jerry Grant, Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon Testimonies of Our Blessed Mother Ann Lee, pg 264. Beverly Gordon, Shaker Textiles Art, (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1980), pgs. 21-22.
images by Douglas Baz
spooled is on view in the exhibition, Everyday Perfection at the Albany International Airport Gallery, Albany, NY from March 23 – September 2, 2019. Gallery open daily from 7am – 11pm.